by Free Britney at . Comments

While a judge yesterday set a preliminary hearing date of May 28 in the case against Chris Brown, Rihanna remained in her native Barbados, trying to lay low.

Since Chris allegedly pummeled her brains out (Brown is facing charges of assault and criminal threats, both felonies), Rihanna has yet to speak publicly.

But her father, Ronald Fenty, told this week that the time in the sun has taken the singer’s mind off of the February 8 incident and Chris Brown in general.

“Chris sounds like old news to me,” Fenty said, according to MSNBC. He says his daughter is “a different person, back to herself. It’s like Chris never existed."

"She seems reborn,” he said.

Rihanna's Ex-Boyfriend

Others close to Rihanna also speak of her "new trajectory."

Rihanna, who was just given back the jewels that had been held as evidence since the attack "is really realizing how precious life is,” says the source.

“She could lose it all if she’s not smart. She’s starting to see that one wrong choice about who she loves could turn her into the next Whitney Houston.”

Ouch, Bobby Brown. Bet that one stung.

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Chris Brown's high-powered lawyer, Mark Geragos, plans to ask the court to dismiss the assault and criminal threats case against his client because of leaks.

Geragos told reporters that the leaks in the Rihanna case "form the basis for a motion to dismiss the case in regard to outrageous governmental misconduct."

Whether he's successful remains to be seen, but in any case, a court date is set for Brown today in Los Angeles for his February 8 altercation with Rihanna.

The singer will not appear before the judge.

Geragos will be present on behalf of the singer. Sources say Brown signed a waiver, although it remains unclear exactly what said waiver entails.

Brown appeared in court earlier this to enter a not guilty plea on charges that he beat and threatened to kill Rihanna in a violent altercation that left the Barbados native, and his girlfriend at the time, bruised, bitten and unconscious.

Following the not guilty plea, Brown's team and the L.A. County District Attorney's office were said to be working on a plea deal. That was weeks ago.

Several reports now suggest a deal is closer, if not imminent.

According to legal experts, Mark Geragos (above) is expected to ask for more time in the case to search for further evidence. If he is unable to secure additional time from the judge, a preliminary hearing date may be set in the case.

At the preliminary hearing, prosecutors presens the case before a judge explaining they have enough material to pursue a conviction. Geragos will counter that they do not, and the judge will decide if a criminal trial is warranted.

Regardless of the outcome, Rihanna and Chris Brown want no part of that, as it could result in information going public that both want to suppress.

Brown has sought a plea deal in which he does not serve jail time, but as the felonies he's charged with carry almost five years, that's a hard sell.

"I would imagine all parties would be interested in resolving the case so as to avoid the public airing of dirty laundry at a trial," said Shawn Chapman Holley, who has represented The Game and Lindsay Lohan but is not involved here.

"If the D.A. makes a 'tough' offer, this makes it a difficult choice for the defendant," the attorney added.

"For example, if they offer a deal that still carries significant jail time, the defendant might want to take his chances at trial. Doing so, however, exposes a high-profile defendant to unwanted negative publicity."

UPDATE: Judge Patricia Schnegg set a preliminary hearing for May 28 - the result of Geragos pushing for as late a date as possible to allow him adequate time to respond to the investigation into how Rihanna's police photo was released.

Geragos says he will still move to have Brown's case dismissed should the haunting photo's appearance prove to be the result of a police transgression.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson has some interesting insight into woman-beating in general and as it pertains to the Chris Brown-Rihanna situation.

No stranger to domestic violence himself, Tyson MTV News his perspective on the Chris Brown scandal while promoting Tyson, a documentary on his life.

"My personal opinion about that is, he’s just a baby," Tyson said of Brown, whose career is in jeopardy as he faces assault and criminal threats charges.

"He’s just a little baby that don’t know how to handle his emotions when it comes to a woman. He probably thinks, ‘I know how to handle my emotions.’"

"We all think we do. But the fact is, you look at this person and you might be crazy in love, but we don’t know how to handle those feelings."

Mike Tyson then expounded on this, growing increasingly animated and looking like he was about ready to pound somebody - anybody - into submission himself:

"Do I think it’s right to beat up a woman? No! Hell no! Have I hit a woman before? Hell yeah!!! Was I wrong? Hell yeah!!! I’m a product of that environment. Do I regret ever doing that? Hell yeah!! Would I do it again? Never!!"

Tyson served three years in prison for raping Desiree Washington in 1991. His ex-wife, Robin Givens, accused of him of spousal abuse two years earlier.

Follow the jump for the clip of Iron Mike talking about Chris Brown:

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Conflicting reports emerged last week involving Chris Brown dating a former hometown girlfriend, Erica Jackson, and spending time with Girlicious singer Natalie Mejia.

Brown's people are now saying neither story is true.

An unidentified spokesperson for Chris Brown, 19, claimed that photos taken the previous weekend of the singer leaving the West Hollywood Tattoo Mania parlor in the company of Natalie Mejia, 20, and another man "don't mean anything."

"Chris was in a Hollywood tattoo parlor with a woman from the recording studio named Dean, who was getting a tattoo," Brown's rep reportedly told People.

"Natalie Mejia was there along with Dean," the source added. "[Reports in other media] that Natalie Mejia is now Chris' new girlfriend are also false."

According to E! News, Mejia confirmed that she is the woman seen leaving the tattoo parlor with Brown, but declined to comment on their relationship.

Natalie Mejia reportedly told Radar Online that "Things are going well between us, but I really do not want to comment much more than that right now."

Chris Brown's rep says he's not hitting it with Natalie Mejia.

The rep also said reports claiming Brown is back with a former hometown girlfriend, University of Mary Washington student Erica Jackson, are also false.

Brown was recently seen with the women's basketball team at the school's "White Ribbon Campaign" to raising awareness about violence toward women.

Adding to the confusion, E! also reported that after a night of partying on Saturday with Tyrese Gibson, Omarion and Keith Robinson at Los Angeles' Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, Brown "apparently noticed one of the female bartenders."

Also, while they have not been spotted together for weeks, an unidentified source told People that Brown and Rihanna, 21, spent time together over Easter weekend after deciding to take a break from their relationship last month.

Brown pleaded not guilty last week to two felony charges of assault and making criminal threats in connection with his alleged assault of her on February 8.

All very confusing, but one thing is clear: Whether or not he's found a new speedbag lover in Natalie Mejia, it's worth clicking on the photos of her below:

Natalie Mejia: Girlicious

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Earlier today, in our zeal deliver the most up-to-date entertainment news to our readers, we reported that Chris Brown was spotted at a tattoo parlor with ex-girlfriend Erica Jackson.

Turns out, we were only partially correct.

CB Pic

Singer Natalie Mejia has now confirmed that she was actually the woman on Brown's arm Saturday afternoon, telling radaronline.com:

"It's true we did visit a tattoo parlor together, but I can't say if we got anything done because that is personal."

So, is Mejia dating the girlfriend-beating Brown?

"Things are going well between us," she said. "[He] has treated me like a gentleman at all times actually and there are no complaints."

Mejia is a member of the unsuccessful all-female group Girlicious. If she continues to date Brown, her love life will go as well as her singing career.

Click on the photos above to enlarge pics of Chris Brown's new punching bag girlfriend, Natalie Mejia.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Chris Brown has reportedly found a new partner to beat on cuddle.

According to The New York Daily News, the violent singer has started dating an ex-girlfriend again, University of Mary Washington student Erica Jackson.

“[Chris and Erica] met in Virginia, where he’s from,” said a source. “They dated back in the day and reconnected a few weeks ago when Chris was in town. They’ve been spending a lot of time together, but things only really heated up over the last two weeks."

For Jackson's sake, we hope the heat took place between the sheets and not between Brown's hands.

If Chris Brown has already moved on from Rihanna, does that make him a worse human being? Or is that impossible at this point?

The insider added that Brown "was mad in love with" Rihanna, though he clearly had a strange way of showing it.

Meanwhile, a rep for Brown denies a report that the singer and and his new gal pal went on a date at a Sunset Blvd. tattoo parlor over the weekend.

“He did go to a tattoo parlor with someone from the studio named Dean," said the rep. "There was a woman there who was a friend of Dean. There is no truth to this at all. Chris does not know the woman nor does he know the name of the woman.”

You'll forgive us, anonymous representative guy, if we fail to believe anything from Brown's side these days, right?

** Update: Other sources confirm that Brown entered the tattoo parlor with a female. But they claim it was Girlicious member Natalie Mejia. As always, getting to the truth in any Chris Brown story isn't easy.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Having pleaded not guilty to assault and criminal threats in conjunction with a brutal "alleged" attack on Rihanna at his arraignment Monday, Chris Brown now has three weeks until his next court date April 29 to hammer out a plea deal.

Whether he succeeds will depend, in large part, on who blinks first - presumably, a plea bargain would have already been agreed upon if the D.A. would let Brown avoid serving jail time, which his lawyers are actively seeking.

But so far, no agreement.

Will Brown agree to a shorter jail sentence in order to avoid a protracted trial and the maximum four year, eight month sentence he's facing? Or will the D.A. not want to potentially risk any chance of losing and agree to a slap on the wrist?

Either way, Chris Brown is 19. His life will go on, and as far as the future is concerned, the more important question for him is whether his career can be saved.

It will be a tough sell. There's not much positive spin you can put on violence against women, and he beat up a singer more popular than himself! Expressing his deepest regret while acting like a tool on a jet ski in Florida didn't help.

A contrite statement about the seriousness of his alleged crimes - no matter what his sentence ends up being - would be a good start in rebuilding his image.

Rather than crying and blaming others or pressures in his life, an admission of guilt and sincere, public apology to Rihanna and fans would go a long way.

His attorneys have almost certainly suggest he do nothing while a plea deal is being worked on, and that strategy has its merits, but the longer he waits to acknowledge mistakes he clearly made, the harder it will be to recover from them.

Instead of admitting that domestic violence is wrong, or that assault and abuse are serious issues, Brown has yet to express anything at all, leaving himself open to speculation that he has no problem with smacking women around.

Maybe that's unfair, but it's also reality. Without a proactive approach, one of music's brightest stars could be ready to "kiss, kiss" his career goodbye.

Click to enlarge more photos of Brown in court Monday:

by Free Britney at . Comments

After hearing the news that Chris Brown formally pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, where he faced charges of allegedly pummeling Rihanna, Ronald Fenty, her father, said that Brown "needs to stop being in denial" about the attack.

"So what happened? Somebody else did this to Rihanna then?" Fenty said to Us Weekly. "I just would like justice, to see it go in the right direction."

The singer, 19, entered a not guilty plea on both of his felony charges of assault and making criminal threats to Rihanna, 21, on Monday afternoon.

"I don't want his career to be damaged - it’s damaged already," Fenty said.

"I think [Chris Brown] is a very talented guy, but everybody should have to pay. When you do the crime, you do the time. I don't want to see him locked up for a long time - I just want him to acknowledge and get some help."

Rihanna: Prince?

If Chris Brown is not guilty, as he claims in court, of attacking and threatening to kill Rihanna February 8, Ronald Fenty wants to know who is responsible.

"Who did it - that’s the question now," he said.

"If he’s not guilty, who did it? He should say 'guilty' and let the court be leaning into him and try himself to the mercy of the court, see if he gets a fine."

The father of Rihanna, who's home in Barbados, added: "He’s going to go beyond that and it could go longer, it can be even worse for him in the long run."

We don't think it's a stretch to say that Brown is very much guilty of his role in the attack on Rihanna. The plea of not guilty is just a formality, buying time while his lawyers and the D.A. try to reach a deal to avoid a trial.

The last thing Chris Brown or Rihanna want is a protracted court scenario that drags this out for weeks. The question is if the D.A. will allow Brown not to serve time, or if he's willing to serve some to make this end sooner.

Follow the jump for a video of Chris Brown in court yesterday: A two-minute clip that shows his not guilty pleas to both felony charges ...

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Chris Brown entered a plea of not guilty to two felony charges - aggravated assault and making criminal threats - in court this afternoon at 3:26 p.m. PST.

With ex-girlfriend Rihanna, the victim in the "alleged" incident, nowhere in sight, Brown showed up at L.A. County criminal courthouse to officially face the music for "allegedly" pummeling her into oblivion back on February 8.

He is due back in court on April 29.

After hearing the counts against him, Brown was asked for his plea by the judge. The singer answered with a hushed, short "not guilty, your honor."

Brown's legal camp, headed by attorney Mark Geragos, has been working on a plea deal around the clock, with the goal of preventing him from having to serve jail time (he is looking at up to years and eight months if convicted).

As of now, though, there is no deal.

All in all, the star's arraignment was uneventful. What happened outside the courtroom, however, is another matter. Donald Etra, who is Rihanna's lawyer, spoke to reporters - and did so almost as if he were speaking on behalf of Brown.

Etra said Rihanna, who is chilling in Barbados and distancing herself from the case right now, would be pleased "if it [the case] were over quickly."

As in, if a plea bargain for Chris Brown were finalized ASAP. Asked what kind of deal she wants, Etra said the singer recognizes that it isn't up to her.

She has made it clear, both implicitly and explicitly, that she does not want to go to court, although Etra says Rihanna will cooperate if ordered to.

Geragos didn't speak to the press, but prosecutors would surely be far from thrilled if he did so while negotiations for a plea deal are ongoing. So it is all the more intriguing that Rihanna's lawyer answered all of the questions.

Stay tuned ...

by Free Britney at . Comments

At his arraignment today for aggravated assault and making criminal threats Brown will plead not guilty tomorrow, however the plea may just be a formality.

Chris Brown's lawyer and prosecutors in the Rihanna case are currently engaged in serious plea bargain negotiations and according to one source, a "deal is close."

Sources say Rihanna has made it quite clear she does not want to testify in the case and wants Brown - with whom she is "taking a break" - to cop a plea.

One reason Rihanna's in Barbados right now is because "she wants to be as far away from this case as possible," and she's trying to keep her distance - literally.

Chris Brown is inclined to plead either guilty or to plead no contest to a misdemeanor, provided he got no jail time. The District Attorney and Mark Geragos, Chris Brown's lawyer, have since gotten down to the specifics.

What is not known is if the R&B star has changed his view and would now accept jail time to avoid a trial. That would be a bit surprising, although the charges he faces - which carry more than four years in jail - are no joke.

Chris Brown will be in court in person today at his arraingment.

Chris Brown Biography

Chris Brown Tattoo Chris Brown was born in 1989, which means he couldn't even buy beer when he first broke onto the scene. But man, this R&B singer... More »
Born
Birthplace
Tappahannock, Virginia
Full Name
Christopher Maurice Brown
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